Blizzard in the bunk rooms…

2007-02-16 10:02:24.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer


Note: the pitot anemometer is undergoing un-routine maintenance, and the backup systems do not flow directly to the webpage. Indicated windspeeds are likely inaccurate!

You did it! Thanks to your support of the Observatory, we’ve completed our membership drive and have flipped on the new Presidential Webcam. And since it’s been flipped on, it’s been nothing but grey. Eh, well, that’s Mount Washington. You take the spectacular with the often endless streaks of ‘in the clouds.’ I look forward to the first clear sunset from this webcam!

The continued cold and extreme weather on the peak is the story again this morning. Winds averaged 90mph for the day yesterday, and have topped out at 124mph this morning. Windchills again are in the extreme category! For the month so far, we are averaging an air temperature of -8.7 degrees, over 15 degrees below normal.

Despite all the extreme weather, the routine at the Observatory has been largely uninterrupted. Knocking on wood, but the instruments have been functioning well, and besides the waffle iron, little has needed maintenance in our quarters.

That was until yesterday evening.

We were aware of an exterior window that had rattled open during the storm yesterday morning, filling in the space between the storm window with snow. In the hundred mph sustained winds though, we were content to maintain the rate of snow entering in the room until the winds abated back to hurricane force and the window could be resealed. That plan changed dramatically at 9PM last night when a ceiling tile collapsed, revealing a four foot thick snowdrift that had filled the crawlspace between the floors. It avalanched minutes later.

Realizing that the situation was far worst than we had though, we braced ourselves for 100mph winds racing through the building, and dug out the window. And were shocked at what we discovered! All the snow seen pictured blew in threw a cracked window open no more than 1/8 inch!!!

Unable to melt the ice from the window jam in -20F, we packed the crack with ice and snow, let it freeze, insulated the area, and will wait for the first day above freezing to close the window!

Oh, and Ken, if you’re reading this…we need some more ceiling tiles and a new wall in the three bunk room this spring!


Note: The Observatory’s Edutrip Program is featured in the Time Magazine that hits newstands today. The Observers obviously haven’t seen the spread, as the nearest newstand isn’t exactly accessable, but the text of the article can be read here!


Jim Salge,  Observer

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